CES 2021 is happening right now with some of the best new laptops of the year being announced. But Samsung has already announced its big laptop release for the show last week. The original Galaxy Chromebook was announced last year at CES and debuted as one of the most expensive and best Chromebooks ever made.
The sequel makes a few notable changes to improve the technology and lower the price. The Galaxy Chromebook 2 features a 13.3-inch screen but reduces the resolution from 4K to 1080p, which was one of the primary calling cards of the original Galaxy Chromebook. However, Samsung tries to make up for that by switching the panel technology from AMOLED to QLED, made famous by the company’s televisions.
We’ve seen QLED used in previous Samsung laptops, such as the Galaxy Book Flex, but this is the first Chromebook to use it. The result should be much better battery life, despite having just a 45.5 watt-hour battery.
The Galaxy Chromebook 2 also lacks the built-in S Pen support that was included with the original Galaxy Chromebook. An active pen is supported, but will be sold separately.
The Galaxy Chromebook 2 is also a bit chunkier than the previous model. The original was one of the most portable laptops you could buy, coming in at just 2.3 pounds and 0.39 inches thick. The Galaxy Chromebook 2 is still slim but is now a more typical 2.7 pounds and 0.55 inches thick.
The attention-grabbing “Fiesta Red” color is still available, but a more subdued silver option is also now being offered.
The awkward part is how the Galaxy Chromebook 2 stands in Samsung’s lineup. It comes in two configurations: The base model is $550, which comes with the dual-core Intel 10th-gen Celeron 5205U processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. Meanwhile, the $700 model comes with a 10th-gen Core i3-10110U, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage.
These 1080p models are direct competitors with midrange Chromebooks like the Google Pixelbook Go, which starts at $649 for a similar configuration.
The original Galaxy Chromebook, however, is sticking around. You can currently purchase it for $714 directly from Samsung, and it includes a faster Core i5 processor, twice as much storage (256GB), built-in stylus, smaller chassis, and higher-resolution 4K screen. In everything but battery life, it seems well worth the extra $14.
Samsung also sells a couple of Chromebooks on the cheaper end of the spectrum, such as the $230 Chromebook 4+ or $300 Samsung Chromebook 4.
- Galaxy Book Flex2: Samsung’s first 5G laptop has an 11th-gen Intel Processor
- The best new laptops of CES 2021
- What to expect from CES 2021: Samsung TVs, laptops, and Galaxy S21?
- The best tablets for 2021
- Asus announces high-end Chromebooks powered by AMD Ryzen and Intel Tiger Lake